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Aug 5th, 2016
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Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 35
Sidelock
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Sidelock

Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 35
A deer hunter in the Southeast US doesn’t need a double rifle but I got one anyways. Why a double rifle, then? I always hated hunting birds, usually ducks, in the morning with any one of three favorite Browning doubles then having to climb a tree in the evening with a stupid, albeit Browning, bolt rifle. So I found a Browning Supposed Express in .30-06 already rigged with a Leupold 1.5x-5x scope and sling attachments. I bought it long-distance from only a few low-resolution photos on the internet.

It arrived and was stunningly better than I could have hoped for, very close to mint condition. Now, the only thing left to the imagination was how the gun would shoot especially how the barrels shoot relative to one another.



I have always shot 150 grain Remington Core-lokt PSPs because my Browning bolt loves them. Incidentally my dad and my son both shoot Browning A-bolts that love the same Remington bullets. So I carried them to the range along with the Express. This first trip was frustrating. I really think the gun was unfired since it left the factory in 1981. Bullets were behaving badly and walking in all directions on the paper leaving no consistent message on how to get the gun sighted in. I’m a new believer in barrel break-in because they did start cooperating on the last few volleys but they told both good and bad news. The good news was that windage wise the under barrels shoots about an inch to the left of the over barrel. I suspected this from my time with a laser bore site but it’s easily manageable – maybe even better than I could have hoped. If I sight in the middle I’d be off a half inch with ether barrel. I don’t shoot much over 100 yards at deer so I’m pretty happy with that. The bad news was that the over barrel was shooting about 3½” to 4” higher than the under barrel at 100 yards. That’s not what I wanted to see.

I was a little dejected and beat up from 20 rounds of .30-06 so I drove home with my tail tucked and allowed myself some time to think and recover from the recoil.

Maybe it was just the inexpensive (ie, cheap) bullets so I got a box of premium 150 grain cartridges and a box of premium 180 grains, almost as an afterthought, then headed back to the range. The premium 150s validated what the cheaper Remingtons were telling me…ugh. Then I put a 180 in the upper barrel and a Remington 150 in the under barrel. Wow. With the heavier round in the upper barrel, I shot the grouping on the left with an under barrel bullet touching an over bullet and an over bullet in the 1 inch bull’s eye. Mind you this is 100 yards with a 5x scope. This thing may just work.

I tweaked the scope a few clicks to the right and up then went back one more time just to validate with a cold, clean rifle that my sighting was good. I shot the group on the right. I also ran a ballistics program with the two disparate loads and got another good surprise, according to the calculations, these two bullets stay in lock-step out to 400 yards, not that I would ever even begin to try a shot that far. One of the advantages of a double shotgun is the choice of two different load/choke combinations so I guess the same goes for a double rifle shooting two different rounds. I don’t like that I have to keep track of the different cartridges but the green plastic tips on the 180 grain Noslers and a little bit of work with a Sharpie marker will make that easier. The benefit is that I’ve got the choice of either a 180 grain or a 150 grain bullet for a first shot and a quick and accurate second shot if needed. If I ever need to take a long shot, putting a 150 grain in the upper barrel will give me a point-of-aim shot at 250 yards. I'd never risk a deer at that distance but we have some coyotes and a beaver that needs killing so I might get to these this thing out at 250 if I'm lucky.

My fears that I might be buying what amounts to an expensive single shot seem to have been unfounded...


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Rubberhead,
Double rifles perform better with the ammunition it was regulated with. Your rifle was not likely regulated in the US, and was likely regulated with a bullet heavier than 150 grains. If any of the documents came with it, they may ID the ammo used. Also they are sensitive( SxS more so than O/U)to the "bench procedure" used when shooting them. They should be held in both hands with the forward hand( not the rifle) resting on the bag. The bags should be built up high enough that you are sitting upright and able to move backward in recoil. You should fire the second barrel as soon as you can get back on target. For the next two shots, you should let the barrels cool to ambient temperature first, and do the same for the third set of shots. The best is to fire one set of two shots on one day and come back another day for the next set. The "drill" is not target shooting, rather it is to discover where two shots from cold barrels strike the target. To move the group to where you want it, you have to know where the first bullet( and maybe the second) will hit. Once you do that, you can shoot all you want. From your description, I would guess you could use 180 grain or heavier bullets in both barrels. If you insist on using 150 grain bullets, you might be able to do so by handloading them to a lower velocity. Of course, as always, I could be entirely wrong.
Mike

Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 35
Sidelock
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Sidelock

Joined: Aug 2009
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Thanks Der Ami. Some of that I did know, some I didn't.

There was not any information on what loads were used to regulate the gun I have and it is the only double rifle that I've ever seen with my own eyes so, you're right, I don't have a whole lot of experience. I did, however, consider what would happen if I put a 180 in the lower barrel so, just for fun I put a 150 in the over barrel and a 180 in the under barrel (the opposite of the four shot group above) and actually put the two additional shots on the same piece of paper I just cropped them out in the above photo...see below for the target with all six shots included.

The upper barrel with the 150 grain bullet shot 4 inches above the centerline and the under barrel with the heavier bullet shot about 4 inches below the group. I've shot enough of each round, at this point, that there is definitely a predictable pattern emerging and that pattern is saying that with the same load in both barrels the over barrel is going to shot about 3.5" to 4" higher than the under barrel whether the load is the 150 grain or the 180 grain...

I have actually recorded every shot as to cartridge, distance to the target, and horizontal and vertical distance from the point of aim and captured every scope adjustment long the way. I have all of these in an Excel spreadsheet. I can plot any combination of shots in an X-Y graph and include scope adjustments or not. I have put a lot of thought into this.

I am still open to thoughts and suggestions but I am coming to terms with having to put a different cartridge in each barrel. Actually, I'm kind of excited about having the choice of bullet weights that both hit about the same point of impact.


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Joined: Dec 2001
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You might try the 165 grain load, on sale at Midaway right now:


https://www.midwayusa.com/30-06-springfield/br?cid=22200


http://www.bertramandco.com/

ACGG Professional metalsmith, firearms import services.
Joined: Jul 2012
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Rubberhead,
Your statement that the over barrel shoots 3.5-4.0" high, regardless of whether the 150 or 180 grain load is used gives me a hint. When I said you need to shoot the second shot as quickly as you can get back on target, it was because with the bottom barrel warm, if you shoot the cold upper barrel, it will shoot high( when the bottom barrel gets longer, it pushes the other one up). In fact, when I do this, I shoot on two targets( next to each other), because there is no time to locate the first shot before firing the second one. After shooting I transfer the holes from one target to the other. Try that and see how it works.
Mike

Last edited by Der Ami; 07/12/20 10:28 AM.
Joined: May 2008
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I have built a few double rifles and I have built and regulated them for scopes as my eyesight it not as good as it was 70 years ago. However, the vast majority of double rifles, including o/u's were not regulated at the factory using scopes. Most double rifles are regulated at the factory for 50 yards/meters.

I prefer the super lightweight Leupold scopes and I cannot determine if your scope is one of them or not, nor can I determine from the photo if your beautiful superposed has iron sights. The weight of the scope, its rings and mounts plus the weight of the scope, will make a double rifle original regulation go astray. If you have iron sights I suggest you determine which 30-06 loads work best for your double rifle at 50 yards and then from there determine how to make your double rifle shoot where you want it with the scope.

On the double rifles I build, I machine the scope mounting slots into the rib in order to reduce the weight and this helps a great deal in shot regulation. You may need to reduce the weight of your rings and mounts by trying ones made of aluminum.

In general for the issue you have, slowing the speed of the projectile will lower the shot at the target and you may need to hand load your ammo if you do nothing else to the scope or mounts.

Double rifles can be very accurate and the ones I have built will place the shots touching or nearly touching each other at 100 yards. However it sometimes takes me several weeks of work soldering and de-soldering the barrels at the muzzle to regulate them to where I want to shoot with the load that I want.

I live a hour or so from you and if you want to talk to me about your double rifle targeting, you can PM me and I will give you my telephone number.

Kindest Regards;
Stephen

Joined: Jul 2012
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Rubberhead,
To bushveld's comments; I had a set of 9.3x74R barrels built for my Heym O/U combination gun and it shot better than the "acceptable" 5cm group at 100 meters. I had a scope mounted and it would no longer shoot. I hunted with it that season as a single shot and took it back for re-regulation with the scope. While in the shop, it was stolen and since I had 3 other barrel sets: I had to replace it. I had the new barrel set regulated with a scope mounted. The first two rounds at 100 meters were touching each other( they were still unfinished and I wouldn't even let them cut the regulating wedge off in finishing them). I consider bushvelds offer of help very generous and advise you to take him up on it.
Mike

Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 175
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Rubberhead,
Very pretty rifle! I know of a couple of hunters with the same O/U in 30-06 and they are happy with them. Bushveld offer is a good one and you may enjoy visiting with an experienced gun maker.

My .405 WCF Simson Suhl double came to me regulated for a 300 grain load slower than I shoot in my 1895 .405 lever gun, so I took it to a competent gunmaker and it is now regulated to use the same ammo as my levergun. It puts 4 shots into one inch at 50 yards and I rarely need a second shot with the .405. smile


NRA Patron, TSRA, Whittington Center, DWWC,DRSS
Reloading Ballistics App at http://www.xplat.net/

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